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A New Year, worsening weather and America under trial

By Rhodesia Muhammad -Contributing Writer- | Last updated: Jan 9, 2018 - 12:50:02 PM

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Ajamu Gumbs of New York makes his way to a bus station during a snowstorm in Atlantic City, N.J., Jan. 4.

After a tumultuous year of devastating natural disasters, Mother Nature does not seem to be easing up. Only days into 2018 parts of the U.S., stretching from Florida up into New England, were slammed with a massive winter storm that has left at least 26 people dead in early January.

This extreme weather is the result of what meteorologists call a “bomb cyclone,” a term derived from bombogenesis; the process in which a storm quickly strengthens because of a rapid drop in pressure. In order for it to be considered a bomb cyclone, the pressure within the atmosphere of the earth must drop by at least 24 millibars in 24 hours. Shockingly, this storm’s pressure dropped by 53 millibars in 21 hours, making this the most explosive East Coast storm ever observed, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration reported.

Firefighters extinguish a vehicle fire during a winter snowstorm in Atlantic City, N.J., Jan. 4. State government offices were closed, and NJ Transit reported lighter-than-normal ridership. Gov. Chris Christie declared a state of emergency for four coastal counties.
Almost the entire East Coast was under a winter storm watch or warning, approximately 8 million people. Fifty-eight million people were in the path of the storm that unleashed blinding snow and hurricane force winds with the highest reaching up to 93 mph. The most snow fell in parts of New Jersey with 18 inches. Severe flooding closed businesses and schools for over a million students. However, by Friday, Jan. 5, most schools had reopened.

Transportation systems were halted, including nearly 5,000 flights cancelled and 2,000 delayed.  As of Jan. 5, many airlines had resumed service.

Travel disruptions hit Greyhound buses running between Montreal, Boston, New York City, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Atlantic City, New Jersey, and Portland. Amtrak reduced train service between New York and Boston, Massachusetts and Connecticut, Washington, D.C. and Virginia. Amtrak said the changes stemmed from road closures due to icy conditions.

Lee Twine, a New York resident said the temperature had dropped to nine degrees. “The news forecasters reported that unusual snow was headed our way. However, when I looked out at my patio and saw very little snow, I thought we were spared. But, there was very little snow on my patio because of the heavy winds,” he said.

“I live on the sixth floor of a high rise, so I’ve always been able to see our beautiful skyline, but not today,” he noted. “Something’s happening with this weird weather. We’re used to consistent frigid weather, but lately, it’s been cold one day and warm the next, all in the same week.”

A car sits in floodwaters from Boston Harbor on Long Wharf in Boston, Jan. 4. A massive winter storm swept from the Carolinas to Maine dumping snow along the coast and bringing strong winds that ushered in possible record-breaking cold. Photos: AP/Wide World photos

Sand Hills Scituate. Scituate takes the wind and snow from blizzard conditions on Jan. 4. A vicious winter storm hitting the East Coast brought hurricane force wind gusts and coastal flooding to Massachusetts. The National Weather Service said it received reports of a wind gust of 76 mph on Nantucket, Massachusetts and a gust of 75 mph in Wellfleet, on Cape Cod.Winds of 74 mph or higher are considered hurricane force. Photo: AP/Wide World photos
In New England, the powerful winds brought coastal flooding that reached historic levels. When the flood waters receded, the plummeted temperature turned any leftover water into ice.

But there was also frigid rain, ice and snow in Florida, touching Tampa, Tallahassee, and other locales, leading to street closures, weather warnings, highway accidents, and the shutdown of Florida State University and Florida A&M University. Farmers were keeping a wary eye on crops as the cold snap rolled through. Some counties opened cold shelters for the homeless. Tallahassee experienced snow for the first time in nearly three decades.

Meanwhile in South Carolina, it snowed in Savannah, and Charleston. Officials responded by spreading sand on streets ahead of forecast snow and sleet but some bridges and roads were closed due to ice as were airports in Charleston and Savannah.

CBS news correspondent Jericka Duncan reported that the storm dumped more than a foot of snow in parts of Maine. She said powerful winds along the coast led to some of the worst tidal flooding in four decades.

This winter storm has hit other regions not accustomed to severe winter weather—Georgia, Virginia and the Carolinas—with a mixture of snow and rain, according to news reports.

Across the Georgia-South Carolina line in Charleston, the weather service reported 5 inches of snow that hadn’t been seen in that area since 1989. The weather service also reported that Savannah, Ga., exceeded more than an inch of snow, the first in 28 years. State officials urged people to stay off the roads because of the unsafe icy conditions that led to hundreds of accidents and overturned vehicles.

New Jersey State Police said their agency responded to over 250 crashes and 554 motorists aids, including spin-outs, flat tires, and mechanical breakdowns in just one day.

Hurricane force winds led to loss of power in more than 100,000 homes and businesses across the northeast.

Some folks in the South were adjusting to what seemed like the first real winter in a while. Hurricane Harvey victims are not only trying to stay warm during this cold snap, but many are still recovering from the floods that hit last August. Some don’t have proper heat because their walls are still stripped or there’s no insulation. Others are forced to live in half-finished homes because alternate housing isn’t available, or their hotel vouchers have expired.

Community volunteers in Houston pulled together and donated blankets to people in need. One-thousand two hundred blankets were distributed in an hour, one organizer said. She’s still searching for a store that had not sold out of space heaters.

Jan. 3 weather across the United States.
The Houston Red Cross opened a temporary Warming Center for those in need of a heated place to stay after two homeless people died within two hours of each other because of freezing temperatures Jan. 2 in Houston.

In the Midwest, Mark Henderson, a 34-year-old Wisconsin man was found frozen to death on New Year’s Eve after he hid following a hit-and-run crash the night before, officials reported.

Mr. Henderson’s body was discovered in a yard between a fence and a shed by his girlfriend and the homeowner. He fled the scene on foot after running a red light that caused a four-car accident, no one was seriously injured.

When the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner arrived on the scene, she found that Mr. Henderson’s body was frozen solid. Despite the frigid temperatures, Mr. Henderson was wearing just a pair of shoes, jeans and tank top. There was no apparent trauma to his body, which led investigators to speculate he was attempting to disguise and change the clothing he was last seen wearing. 

According to court records, Mr. Henderson was on parole for a conviction for a fatal hit and run in 2012.

Blizzards, earthquakes and more

Blizzards aren’t the only natural disasters plaguing America right now. A 4.4 magnitude earthquake struck Berkeley, Calif., January 4, at 2:39 a.m. The jolts could be felt by residents across the Bay Area.

Since New Year’s Day, Mount St. Helens, located 96 miles south of Seattle, Washington, has experienced 40 earthquakes within its vicinity with aftershocks happening every few hours. It was a magnitude 3.9 tremor that was felt as far north as Tacoma and as far south as Portland.

Although people are concerned that these earthquakes will set off the volcano, this is not a sign of an impending eruption, stated geologist Trevor Naceis. Swarms of quakes around Mount St. Helens are relatively common, he noted.

Regional Student Minister Dr. Abdul Haleem Muhammad of the Nation of Islam in Houston, Texas, called the extreme weather fulfillment of divine prophecy. “The Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught us that America will pay for her not giving justice to her ex-slaves and the Indians. The extreme weather will continue, and it will increase in intensity and frequency until America repents or is brought to her knees,” said Student Minister Haleem Muhammad.

“It’s a reminder to our people what the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan warned them of in his November 16, 2017, press conference at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C., that we need to change our way of thinking and the way we act lest we be chastised by Allah (God) also.”

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, patriarch of the Nation of Islam, spoke of four great judgements against America, rain, hail, snow, and earthquakes.

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said that snow is the most dreaded plague. “When it comes in great drifts from five to thirty-five feet, it’s capable of burying properties and lives. It destroys highways, cities, and concrete. It causes roofs of homes to cave in. It cuts off transportation, and it could bring about starvation,” he wrote in Message To The Black Man, published in 1965.

He observed that snow looks pretty as nature is beautiful, but nature can be turned into death and destruction against man.

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad spoke in the 1960s about God’s use of the forces of nature to chastise America for her lack of justice given to the Black man and woman and the indigenous people for over 400 years and counting.

He predicted earthquakes that will destroy towns and cities and rain that would destroy property and lives. “It will swell rivers and creeks and large bodies of water at the ocean shore lines will be made to swell with unusually high waves, dumping billions of tons of water over the seashore line,” he warned.

“Wind with rain will bring destruction to cities, bringing various germs, causing sickness to the people. It will produce unclean water by the swelling of streams and destroying reservoirs of pure drinking water used for the health of the people.”

Minister Farrakhan perpetually repeats and delves deeply into the message of his teacher, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. The Minister continues to warn the masses of destructive natural disasters as Noah of the Bible warned the people of that time.

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said increased evil, deception, and making of false promises to the Black man and woman and the indigenous people only increases America’s divine chastisement and doom. Min. Farrakhan has echoed that warning.

“Let me tell you something: If you don’t give justice to us, you will lose everything you’ve got, including your life, because God, now, said He is ready to fight you for our deliverance,” said Min. Farrakhan in a major message delivered to President Trump and the U.S. government from the Moretti Ballroom of the Watergate Hotel in November. “And He told me to tell you: You don’t have no ‘fight’ against the forces of nature.  … What you’re seeing isn’t ‘global warming,’ it’s the judgment of God.”